Category Archives: Parts of Speech – Adjectives

Good, better, best: comparing adjectives and the problem of modified absolutes

Adjectives have an interesting feature: we can compare many of them, and then use these comparisons to compare nouns. Trinidad and Tobago had a fast team in the men’s relay. The USA had a faster team. Jamaica, with Usain Bolt, had the fastest team of all. The different forms of the adjective fast (faster, fastest)

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Great green dragons: the order and types of adjectives

J.R.R. Tolkien, the professor of languages more famous for being the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of Rings, was fascinated by the idea of dragons from an early age. When he was about seven he began to compose his own story about a dragon. ‘I remember almost nothing about it except a philological

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Yellow, red, orange and blue shipping containers stacked on top and beside each other

Adjectives: an introduction

Adjectives have a simple use: they describe nouns, and also pronouns and other adjectives. A simple definition is that adjectives are ‘describing words’. If we think of nouns as containers of meaning, adjectives help to give extra definition to our meaning. We can talk about a container, for example, or a yellow container or a

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How do I know where to put hyphens?

The simple answer (for words that are always hyphenated) is to check in a dictionary: if a word is always hyphenated, it will be listed.  If the word you are looking for isn’t there (for instance, game-plan), the odds are in favour of it in fact being two separate words (game plan). There is another

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